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Atlanta, Ga- Vince Carter made the first basket at the newly renovated State Farm Arena, a three pointer. The Atlanta Hawks (2-2) got their first home win in front of a sellout crowd by beating the Dallas Mavericks (2-2) 111-104.
Kent Bazemore came up huge for the Hawks leading them in scoring with 32 points and seven assist. “This is an offense where everything happens organically. Coach did a good job of running sets down the stretch,” stated Bazemore.
The two rookies who were traded for each other, Trae Young and Luka Doncic didn’t disappoint. Young had 17 points and five assist while Doncic scored 21 points and nine rebounds.
Dallas came out hot hitting 10-15 to start game and ended the quarter with a sizzling 65%. Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic led them with nine first quarter points.
Taurean Prince was the only player who was able to get buckets in the first quarter. “I just really took what the defense gave me and tried to stay efficient,” said Prince.
The Hawks struggled from the field in the quarter shooting 33%. They trailed 42-22 at the end of the first quarter. The lead ballooned to 51-25 early in the second.
Defensively, Atlanta struggled and left Mavericks’ players open for shots and had seven turnovers which helped Dallas with transition points. Dallas constant movement on offense created problems for the Hawks as it allowed the Mavericks to cause mismatches which led to easy baskets.
In the middle of the second quarter, Atlanta went on a 9-0 run sparked by an alley-hoop from Bazemore to DeAndre Bembry. The game turned from that point and the Hawks were able to hold the Mavericks to only 16 points in the second quarter to cut the lead to 58-48.
“Personal Pride on the defensive end, we challenged our guys during the timeouts to get three stops in a row,” stated coach Lloyd Pierce. “Think we finished the second quarter with 12 out 15 stops so it was just personal pride.”
Bazemore led the Hawks with 17 points and five assist at the half. Doncic led Dallas in scoring with 12 points.
The Hawks came out the second half on fire hitting their first three 3-point attempts to bring the score within 0ne point.
Late in the third quarter, Young was guarding Doncic in the post but the play ended in a Young foul.
Being down 87-80, Atlanta was able to muster up a small 5-0 run. After a foul on a attempted three-pointer by Young, he made all three free throws to take their first lead of the game since the opening seconds.
After going back and forth, Young was able to go between his legs, then spin the opposite way to finish with the layup to take a 101-100 lead.
Atlanta took a four point lead on a Bazemore drive and dunk to seal the win.
Prince was the second leading scorer for the Hawks with 24 points going 5-9 from downtown. Bembry added 11 points and 16 rebounds off the bench.
Wesley Matthews led Dallas with 23 points and DeAndre Jordan chipped in 11 points and 16 rebounds
Atlanta’s next game is at home against the Chicago Bulls at State Farm Arena on Saturday.